Grandmother feels child is being endangered by school bus driver

Posted at 9:31 PM, Mar 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-14 21:31:24-04

HOPEWELL, Va. -- Jennifer Thomas is all fired up and she called CBS 6 Problem Solvers to share her story.

Her issues began last week as she sat on her front porch waiting on her teenage granddaughter to get off of the school bus near her Hopewell home.

Thomas showed CBS 6 a busy intersection that she says her granddaughter had to dart across last week when her bus driver stopped in the turn lane of Winston Churchill Drive near South 1st Avenue.

The driver let Thomas’ granddaughter off of the bus there instead of at her designated bus stop about one block away. That stop is closer to the sidewalk by the teen's home.

"I just jumped up, like oh my God, she’s going to get killed” Thomas said. She also believes the road is too busy for any student to have to cross.

Thomas said that she never saw the bus driver activate her flashing lights when her granddaughter was crossing the street.

School officials dispute that, saying the bus driver assured them she activated her lights before the student crossed Winston Churchill Drive.

Thomas said because she wasn’t satisfied enough with the Hopewell School System’s action, she felt compelled to share her story with Problem Solvers.

"They keep telling me we have dealt with it, but you didn’t because she’s still driving the bus” Thomas explained.

CBS 6 spoke to the Operations Director for the Hopewell School division.

Via phone, Patrick Barnes said that the bus driver confirmed she did drop the student off in the turn lane instead of the designated bus stop because it was too tight of a turn to make in a work zone.

Thomas and other neighbors tell CBS 6 there was no work zone set up that day, or in that intersection all year. An official with the city of Hopewell and with VDOT also told CBS 6 News they had no work zone in that area recently.

Barnes told CBS 6 that the safety and security of students is paramount on a daily basis.

In a statement emailed to us, Barnes went on to say:

“With this now being a personnel matter, which cannot be discussed, we will continue to thoroughly investigate this incident and ensure policies and procedures are being followed to prevent it from being a concern moving forward.”

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